Thursday, March 24, 2016

30 Things I Learned During My First Two Quarters in College

most of my freshmen class at our church retreat and truly some of the greatest (and most savage) people you'll ever meet
It's hard for me to believe it's been six months since I lasted posted on this beloved blog but a lot has happened since. I can truly say I have experienced one of the best periods of my life during these last few months. Last year during this time, I felt both emotional highs and lows due to the fact that is was the dreaded period of college acceptances. I was accepted into my dream school, and I remember running around the house saying that it was the happiest day of my life. However for certain reasons, I was unable to go there. I was emotionally crushed and I remember having an extremely negative attitude toward going to the university that I now attend. I didn't think I could enjoy my time at my current university because it didn't offer the programs I wanted or had the high school friends that I wanted to go to school with. I kept telling myself that my life was unfair when in reality I was so incredibly fortunate but I just couldn't see what was in front of me. I spoke lowly of a school I had not yet even attended. To say that I had a 360 change in attitude is not even close to describing how I feel now. I have grown in every aspect of my life be it emotionally, mentally, or most importantly, spiritually. (Sadly, I didn't grow taller in the physical department.) There were many times during this school year that I wanted to post to update my blog family on how college was going, but I chose to prioritize experiencing college for what is and I honestly don't regret it. I miss all of you dearly, and though I am not going to set a schedule to blog like before, I will definitely try my best to post more. Here are a few of the many things I learned from the first two quarters of my freshmen year.
  1. Coffee shops are a wonderful thing (and no doubt that's where I'm writing this right now).
  2. It's possible to get that much needed 8 hours of sleep a night.
  3. You're going to have a love/hate relationship with your roommate. Just kidding, our relationship is 98% sass and 2% love. 
  4. Spending hours crafting for your dorm room is worth it. You'll be stuck in that tiny box for a year.
  5. Putting yourself out there is the best way to feel connected. 
  6. Upperclassmen are a blessing.
  7. And so are small groups.
  8. Friends with cars make college fun.
  9. Say yes to being down for late night adventures, even at 1 a.m.
  10. The Disneyland parade and fireworks are therapeutic. 
  11. Tell your friends you appreciate them.
  12. Take the initiative when no one will.
  13. Being single is great, especially when you're making new friends.
  14. Keep in contact with your high school friends from the start.
  15. Feeling plugged in is a 50% you thing and a 50% them thing. 
  16. The friends you hang out with at the start of college will not always always be your best friends later.
  17. It's okay to go to college close to home because you will still grow. (Let's face it, being able to go home is a blessing.)
  18. Grades are important, but they aren't everything. In the future, you are more likely to remember experiences over grades.
  19. Freedom is a blessing and a curse in disguise. 
  20. Unless you have enjoyed getting up at 7 a.m. every morning for high school, do not sign up for early classes if at all possible. No matter how good of a student you are, you will most likely not go to them.
  21. Be extra appreciative when upperclassmen pay for your meals and make sure to swipe them into your dining hall as a simple way of saying thank you.
  22. Dining hall food is eatable, but it takes a bit of creativity to keep it from getting mundane. 
  23. Enjoy A's, but don't expect them. 
  24. Record your memories, whether that's through a blog post, journal, or vlog. 
  25. Remember to keep your parents updated and show them some love.
  26. Enjoy your freshmen year because you're only a baby once.
  27. The less snacks in your dorm the better. Not gaining the freshmen 15 is a wonderful thing.
  28. As much as it sucks to walk to class everyday, try to enjoy the added exercise and have a step count battle with your roommate.
  29. Life gets real when you start putting your resume together.
  30. Everyone experiences college differently.
Much love,

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Travel Guide | A Day in LA

outside LACMA
It has been so long since my last post, and I have missed blogging so badly! I just started as a college freshman this fall, and life has seriously been so much fun but also very busy at the same time. I absolutely love university life whether it be hanging out with my hall mates or getting "breakfast" at midnight with my church friends. I won't go into college life too much because I plan to devout a future post to this exciting topic! Now that I have settled in and just taken my first midterm, I wanted to put up a post on my exciting day in Los Angeles last Saturday. Also, picture credit to Emily Sugiyama for a few of these pictures along with a huge thanks to her for letting me use her wonderful camera!


Brunch at Republique | For some stellar ambiance and french inspired architecture, Republique is the perfect place to have a nice brunch. You won't be disappointed with any of their pastries, especially their bombelini's! 

Coffee at Alfred Coffee and Kitchen | Talk about hip, the Melrose location of Alfred's is at the center of all the high-end (read as: Emily can't currently afford) stores. If you're lucky, you might even spot a celebrity here! I really enjoyed their iced caramel latte if you're looking for a midday pick me up. 

Dinner at Grand Central Market | Since the two places mentioned about are quite pricy, dinner at Grand Central Market is a great choice. They have everything from Egg Slut to cheap and delicious Mexican food for you to devour. 

Dessert at The Pie Hole | If you're a pie fan like my friends and I are, you will loveee The Pie Hole. Located in LA's Art District, The Pie Hole features some of the most unique pies around. If you're a fan of earl grey tea, give their earl grey pie a sample!

beautiful French architecture in Republique
the bombelini's are a must try

so much love for the seniors
creme brulee cheesecake


midday coffee and devo break


LACMA | If you're a tourist and you're looking for the classic lamp post photo op, LACMA is the place to go! Only one of us actually went inside, but it's a classic museum to check out if you're an art addict. 

Muji | Muji is literally stationary heaven. They sell everything from minimalistic pens and notebooks to acrylic cases for makeup. I'm seriously in love with this place. 

The Broad | If you're into modern art, The Broad is museum to go to. Their exhibits featured everything from giant sized table and chairs to chromatic tulips. 

Kirbi and Elise are so cute!
"The Emily's" 
The Broad
the seniors are too cool for me

 Have you ever been to Los Angeles? If so, what do you like doing there?



Friday, September 18, 2015

Travel Guide | San Diego, California

Earlier this summer, my best friends and I took a short road trip to the beautiful San Diego. It's about a two to three hour drive from Los Angeles and it's a great coastal destination for a road trip. I remember coming here quite often as a child, so it was wonderful to visit with my best friends.


After hearing countless friends talk about the famous Phil's Barbecue, we knew this was a place we had to try. Let's just say the long line at 2 p.m. was a testament to its popularity. We waited for about 50 minutes before we could order and sit down, but my oh my were the ribs filling and delicious! The barbecue sauce was a bit on the tangier, spicier side, but the overwhelming amount of meat on each rib sure made up for it.

Tips: They serve huge portions (even from an American's standpoint,) so I would definitely recommend splitting a dish with another person. Also, the line seemed to die down a bit at 4 p.m., so if you want to dine in, I would recommend going there at that time. You can also order on the phone and pick it up (thereby skipping the long line) which can be a great timesaver.

Now on to the part everyone wants to hear about, dessert. We didn't go to Extraordinary Desserts on the road trip, but I was able to go a week later when I went to my church's retreat held in San Diego. They certainly earn their name as they are one extraordinary place. These top tier desserts are both beautiful in appearance and exquisite in taste. They have a large seated area where you can order drinks and desserts, but since my dad and I were on our way home, we opted to grab a mini clipboard and pick out our desserts. Every dessert is decorated with some type of beautiful flower, gold leaf, or fresh fruit. I promise you that there will be something to your liking. We chose the apple strudel and strawberry scone this time around, but I hope to try many more desserts next time!

this is a little over half of the dish
the beautiful interior inside Extraordinary Desserts
the apple strudel and the strawberry scone with glaze


The San Diego Zoo is a great place for both young kids and giddy adults. We had such a great time looking at all of the animals, and it was even one of the panda's birthday that day! The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is also a great place to visit if you are interested in taking some safari tours or going zip-lining.

Tip: AAA members get a discount, so make sure to bring your card if you have one.

A gorgeous location to end your day is Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. Everything is so nice and serene by the water and watching the sun set over the ocean is beyond gorgeous.

Tip: Make sure you arrive there a couple hours before sunset or else you will have trouble finding parking. Be warned, there are no bathrooms anywhere within walking distance, so empty your bladder before parking! (We learned this the hard way and walked in circles looking for a bathroom.)

It's so much fun to go down the cliffs (the safe parts of course), so be a bit adventurous! (I bravely joined my friends down there a little after I took this picture.)
We wanted to take a picture with our college sweatshirts!
Have you ever been to San Diego?


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

DIY Pamper Night + GIVEAWAY!

Hello everyone! I took a little break from blogging during the past couple of months, but I am so, so happy to be back now. While I've had the time to relax, I'm not sure all of you had, so I wanted to do a post on a DIY pamper night. Let's face it, spa's are mighty expensive, so here are a few of my tips to host your own spa night right from the comforts of your own home!

Spotify has been an obsession of mine these last few months, and one of my favorite features is their playlists. A few great playlists for relaxing are Relax & Unwind, Evening Chill, Evening Acoustic, Totally Stress Free, and The Most Beautiful Songs in the World.

I love to take out my face masks on pamper nights, and a favorite of mine at the moment is Maple Holistic's Dead Sea Mud Mask to tighten up pores and remove any excess oil on my face. I then like to prepare a nice warm bubble bath while my mask has time to work its magic. If you're not too much of a bath person, take some extra time in the shower to pamper everything from your hair to your skin. I get a bit lazy with conditioner on regular days, but I always make sure to use my Maple Holistic Silk 18 Natural Conditioner for soft, smooth hair on pamper nights.

If you really want your body to unwind, it's best to set your phone on airplane mode and to close your laptop for the night. The blue light from your technology will make it hard for your brain to relax, so a great alternate is reading a good book or magazine. Any Nicholas Spark book should be a great accompaniment to a relaxing night, and my current favorite is The Choice, a cute story about two neighbors, Travis Parker and Gabby Holland, who slowly develop an attraction to each other but are ultimately led to the question: "how far would you go to keep love alive?"

Milk has properties to help you fall asleep, so a great bed time drink is a warm cup of cinnamon vanilla milk. To make this simple recipe, pour a cup of almond/soy/regular milk and mix in a teaspoon of vanilla extract along with a teaspoon of agave nectar/honey. Warm up the milk in the microwave for a minute and then sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on top.

Maple Holistic is a great hair, skin, and bath brand that focuses on creating natural, holistic products, and they have generously offered to giveaway their Hydrate Shampoo and their Silk 18 Natural Conditioner to one lucky winner. Unfortunately, this giveaway is U.S. only, but I will try my best to have an international giveaway in the future! This giveaway will be open for two weeks (closes on September 23, 12 am EST.) will email the winner once the giveaway closes, and they have 48 hours to respond. If they don't respond by then, I will randomly select another winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are your tips for a nice at-home pamper night?

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*Maple Holistic kindly offered to send me these products to try out, but all my opinions are my own.

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